On Wednesday 23XI Racing announced that Kamui Kobayashi will drive their No. 67 Toyota at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course race.
Currently Kobayashi competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship for Toyota Gazoo Racing. He will be running the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend.
“It’s my dream, actually,” Kobayashi told The Associated Press. “It’s such a big sport in the United States and racing in Europe, I never had the chance or opportunity to race NASCAR. I think the opportunity will be challenging for myself because it is such a different category.
“But if I have success, I think it will make more opportunities for Japanese drivers. Toyota has been in NASCAR a long time, but there has never been any Japanese drivers for Toyota. That’s also why I say I appreciate this opportunity for myself.”
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 7, 2023
“It’s truly an honor to have Kamui want to participate in our NASCAR Cup Series program, and we’re thrilled that we could work with our partners at 23XI Racing to give him a competitive Camry TRD for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course event,” said David Wilson, president of TRD, U.S.A.
“Kamui shares the passion for motorsports that all of us at Toyota and TRD, U.S.A. live every day, so it will be exciting to show him our NASCAR program with him behind the wheel of one of our TRD Camrys.”
Kobayashi won the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Toyota in 2021 and has finished no lower than third since 2018. In his career Kobayashi has six podium finishes in eight appearances in the race. The Toyota Gazoo team has won the overall race title the last five years.